Saturday, June 8, 2024

What Cruise Ships Go To Key West

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Opinion: Key West Enjoys Bold Leadership On Cruise Ships

What cruise ship visitors see when arriving into Key West

Thanks to The Keys Weekly for your excellent coverage of cruise ships in the Keys. I am writing to dispute the assertions of John Wells on Sept. 16 against our Mayor Teri Johnston and the work done by Safer Cleaner Ships. He accuses her of being a mere mouthpiece for the all false . . . lies and misinformation of SCS.

Wells also says she has anti-cruise ship prejudice. In fact, it is Mr. Wells who exhibits a vitriolic prejudice full of the real false lies concerning the development of the widely supported ordinance we the people, through our commissioners and city attorney, are crafting to limit the harmful effects we accurately believe cruise ships have on our environment and town.

Mr. Wells then compares SCS to Hitler literally, not by name, but as the Chancellor of Germany for spreading lies not one has withstood close scrutiny nor scientific review.; In fact, the information the commissioners formally REQUESTED on turbidity and public health dangers is, unlike Mr. Wells groups accusations, supported by 11 peer-reviewed scientific studies detailing the degradation of water quality and dangers of infectious diseases COVID and the flu presented by cruise ships. These scientific publications have appeared over the past 21 years, not just yesterday, so if even a single one of them had not withstood close scrutiny nor scientific review, cruise ship supporters have had plenty of time to critique them.;


Rick Boettger

Things To Do And See In Key West

One of the nicest and inviting aspects of Key West is that whatever the cruise traveler would like to do or see it is always very easy to get to anywhere on your own. However, there are many thinsg to do which you can only enjoy with a shore excursion, a sightseeing service or a local tour guide. Here are the top things to do in Key West:

  • Sail on a catamaran and snorkel
  • Go on Kayak Nature Tour
  • Explore Key West on a Bike Tour
  • Experience watersports like parasail, paddleboarding, jet ski or snuba
  • Hop-On and Hop-Off the Old Town Trolley
  • Enjoy the ocean life on a glass bottom boat
  • Discover Key West on the Conch Train
  • Explore the highlights of Key West on a tour or on your own
  • Visit Hemingway’s home and Sloppy Joe’s
  • Take a Pub Crawl Tour
  • Watch a dolphin show
  • Visit the Aquarium and the Butterfly Gardens
  • See Key West on an helicopter tour
  • Tour President Truman’s Little White House
  • Take a Rum and Cigar tour
  • Spend some time on a beach
  • Go on a harbour cruise around Key West
  • Savor a genuine Key lime pie

Conch Tour Train in Key West

Key West Tours Shore Excursions Hotels

City Tours and Shore Excursions

Next are listed the most popular Carnival Cruise Lines tours in Key West, with USD prices per adult:

  • catamaran and snorkeling tour
  • Butterfly Conservatory
  • Trolley and Train tours
  • History tours
  • biking tour
  • boat rides

Port Key West cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port’s schedule lists all ships with cruises going to or leaving from Key West, Florida. To see the full itineraries and their lowest rates just follow the corresponding ship-link.


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What’s To Do Within Walking Distance And Sightseeing

Amongst many inviting aspects of Key West, cruise passengers like to know that many top attractions are close by and easy to reach on your own. The Old Town is a grid of quaint architecture which you can leisurely explore on foot. And most attractions and landmarks are within walking distance. The Old Town Trolley Tours, the Conch Tour Train and the City View Trolleys offer great sightseeing.

Scooter Rentals in Key West

To get around Key West, you can rent a bike, a scooter, or an electrical car. Public buses have stops close to all main attractions. Car rental is not advisable unless you wish to travel to other Keys nearby; parking in Key West is expensive and very limited.

Fishing Tours in Key West

Top Things To Do In Key West

Key West votes to limit cruise tourism  CRUISE TO TRAVEL

Explore Duval Street

Key West comes alive along the main drag of Duval Street, akin to New Orleans famous Bourbon Street. During the daytime, art galleries and outdoor cafes line the street. When the workday ends , stop in for a drink at Ricks Bar or Sloppy Joes and find live music along the way. Pub crawls down Duval are famous here, giving travelers a true sense of how fun the Key West nightlife can be.

See the House Where Hemingway Lived

Walk in the footsteps of famous Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway, who lived at 907 Whitehead Street in Key West from 1931 to 1939. Come see where Hemingway wrote several critically-acclaimed short stories, plus catch sight of the six-toed cats roaming the grounds.

Ascend a Historic Lighthouse

You can climb to the top of The Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters Museum for panoramic views of colorful beach homes, signature Florida greenery, and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico unfolding below you. Stop in after your visit to the Hemingway House; the museum is just around the corner.

Take a Break at Smathers Beach

Kermits Key West Key Lime Shoppe

Address: 200 Elizabeth St, Key West, FL 33040

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Looking For Cruises From Tampa Florida To Key West Florida

The Port of Tampa, Florida welcomes many cruise ships throughout the year at Tampas cruise terminals offering best itineraries to the port of Key West, Florida.;As part of the Florida Keys archipelago, Key West is famed for its pastel-hued, conch-style houses.;On land, shopping, museums, art galleries, tours, theaters and more await you. Or you can simply relax in the sand at one of our Key West beaches, by the pool at your Key West hotel, or on Duval Street with a cocktail in hand.;Some of our most popular Key West tourist activities on the water include dolphin encounters, kayaking the backcountry, diving and snorkeling at Ft. Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas, or renting a boat at a Key West marina to explore on your own.

Port Of Key Westkey West Fl

The Port of Key West, Floridas most southern port, consists of three docking facilities: Mallory Square, the Navys Outer Mole Pier, and the privately-owned Pier B at the Margaritaville Key West Resort. These facilities constitute one of the busiest cruise ports of call in the nation and one of the states strongest and most sustained ferry-port operations. During 2018-19 approximately 393 ships and 913,323 passengers visited Key West. In 2019-20 the City expects 416 ships and 890,000 passengers. The port hosts cruise ships from Miami, Port Everglades, Canaveral, Tampa and Jacksonville as well as ferries from Fort Myers and Marco Island.

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Hemingway’s Home And Other Museums

The Hemingway Home and Museum is a must see along with landmarks and museums such as the Truman Little White House, the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit.

Aquarium in Key West

For the cruise traveler with children there are many interesting attractions, such as the Key West Aquarium, the Shipwreck Treasure Museum, the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, the Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden, the Nancy Forrester Garden, the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens, or the Ripleyâs Believe It or Not!

Key West Residents Voted To Ban Large Cruise Ships From Docking Whenever Cruises Resume

Cruise to Key West and Cozumel, Mexico
  • On Election Day, Key West passed three referendums that prevent larger cruise ships from docking on the island.
  • Smaller, more upscale boats are still able to dock at Key West.;
  • Cruises have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the first trial cruise to set sail is already reporting positive cases.;
  • Visit Business Insiders homepage for more stories.

When travel and cruising pick back up again, the residents of Key West want a smaller part in it.

The Points Guy reported that on Election Day, residents passed three referendums that will significantly restrict the types of cruises that can dock on the island.

Cruise ships with more than 1,300 passengers will no longer be able to dock on the island, the limit of visitors from ships is now 1,500 a day, and priority for docking will be given for those with the top health and environmental records, according to the Monroe County Board of Elections.

The people of Key West are thrilled to finally have some common-sense restrictions in place after 30 years of unregulated cruising that has damaged our environment, hampered economic growth, and threatened public health, Arlo Haskell, treasurer for the Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships,;told USA Today.

The referendums go into effect immediately, USA Today reported, after speaking with Key West City Clerk Cheri Smith.

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The Beaches In Key West

Unless you are planning to book a full-day excursion to the Bahia Honda State Park or the Dry Tortugas National Park, the cruise traveler that is an avid beachgoer may be a bit disappointed to discover that Key West doesn’t have the spectacular type of beaches found in Caribbean Islands like Grand Cayman or Antigua. There are a few very nice beaches but none that compares to Magens Bay or Orient Beach .

Beach in Key West

There are a few small sand strips with shallow waters and nice beach-bars like South Beach or Lagerheads Beach Bar in the Old Town at the end of Simonton Street, but the best are slightly off track. The good news is that on the larger beaches you will find all sorts of watersports, renting of chairs, umbrellas, kayaks, paddle-boards. All have public restrooms, nice seaside bars, and restaurants. But you should expect shallow waters and, depending on the season, sometimes rocky and with seaweeds.

Higgs Beach in Key West

In the Fort Zachary Taylor Park, besides the Historical Fort, you will find one of the nicest beaches in Key West and the closest to the Cruise Port – slightly over 1-mile . It is great for snorkeling. Entrance to the park is $2.50 per person if walking or biking . Higgs Beach is on the Atlantic side, east of Duval Street or 2-miles from the Cruise Port. Great for cruise travelers with kids, Higgs Beach has a distinctive wooden pier and lots of watersports are available.

Without Cruise Ships Key West Residents Are Enjoying A Quieter Clearer Harbor

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Since the coronavirus pandemic began, cruise ships have been shut down. In Key West, Fla., which has been long dependent on tourism, local officials have noticed cleaner water and fewer crowds.


In 2019, almost a million people visited the small island of Key West, Fla., by cruise ship. Since late March of 2020, the island, like the rest of the country, has had no cruise ship traffic. The whole industry was shut down by the pandemic. Now cruise lines are preparing to start sailing in the U.S. again as soon as this summer. As WLRN’s Nancy Klingener reports, Key West would like that restart to be on a much smaller level, but the state of Florida has other ideas.

NANCY KLINGENER, BYLINE: On most evenings, the Key West harbor front is packed. Hundreds of people head there to admire the sun sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. Artists sell their work. One performer juggles fire. Another balances a bike on his head.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Come on, everybody. Let’s start the show.

KLINGENER: Why is that?

GONZALES: Well, primarily because the beaches look more beautiful now – the ocean when I’ve been out there snorkeling. Just everything seems just fresher and cleaner and just better, you know? It was very mucky for many, many years and just slowly deteriorating. And now I feel like, what a change.

WILL BENSON: People come from all over the world to catch a silver king on fly.

BENSON: It makes the bottom of that channel like a blasted moonscape.

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Key West Ban On Large Cruise Ships Officially Becomes Law

The City of Key West officially certified the results of a recent referendum that;limits cruise ship traffic to Key West.

The residents of Key West voted on November 3 to approve three proposals that would effectively ban large cruise ships from Key West, and the results of the voting;were certified this week by Monroe County Supervisor of Elections R. Joyce Griffin.

The voter-approved amendments to the City Charter have now been authenticated by Mayor Teri Johnston and filed with City Clerk Cheryl Smith.

The final tally for the three new laws of Key West are as follows:

Limiting persons disembarking from cruise ships to 1,500 per day.YES: 8,186

Prohibiting cruise ships with a capacity of 1,300 or more persons.YES: 7,852

Prioritize cruise lines with the best environmental and health records.YES: 10,587 NO: 2,453

The group behind the proposal, Key West Committee for Safer Cleaner Ships, celebrated the certification with its backers and vowed to defend the new laws against any legal challenges, “After 30+ years of rising dissatisfaction with the effects of unregulated cruising, the people of Key West have spoken loud and clear.

“And while we expect corporate powers to challenge the new laws in court and in the monied halls of Tallahassee, one thing is certain: the City Commission now has an unquestionable mandate to defend this legislation against any and all opponents.”

Culture & History Of The Key West Cruise Port

Cruise ship in port at Mallory Square in Key West

Cruises that stop in Key West help the world become familiar with the citys culture and history. Key West became a Spanish territory, then called Cayo Hueso, in the 16th century. The British claimed ownership of Florida in the 18th century, expelling Native Americans and the Spanish from the area. Eventually, the United States claimed Key West in 1822.

Before the Overseas Highway was built in 1912 to connect the various Florida Keys, Key West itself was in isolation from the rest of the world. Just 90 miles from Cuba, Key West features a huge influence of Cuban culture, particularly in its food and drink.Today, Key Wests economy is driven by tourism. Its also known for an inclusive, close-knit LGBTQ-friendly community. Maintaining its historic sites like the Hemingway House and Museum or the monument of the Southernmost Point of the United States is a critically important mission for residents as they continue to share Key Wests varied history with the world.

Key West Port Facilities & Location

The Port of Key West is comprised of three docks: Pier B, Mallory Square, and the Navy Mole. If your ship docks at the Navy Mole, there will be a shuttle trolley available to take you into town. Celebrity cruises to Key West, Florida typically dock in Pier B, which is a short walk from many attractions. If youre at a loss for what to see first, try the Key West Aquarium, the Key West Shipwreck Museum, or the Truman Little White House.

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Large Cruise Ships Are Set To Return To Key West

Florida lifts its ban on large cruise ships in Key West.

Large cruise ships have won their battle with idyllic Key West.

Key West residents approved a ban on cruise ships carrying more than 1,500 passengers in November, a time when the industry was effectively shut down by the pandemic. But with cruise lines sailing from the U.S. again, Florida’s governor has overturned the law and is prohibiting the state’s cities from attempting to limit ship traffic in the future.

That decision paves the way for major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean to return to the Florida Keys as cruises restart sailings from U.S. ports. Under the law Key West voters approved last year, Royal Caribbean’s entire fleet which includes several of the world’s largest cruise ships would have been banned.

A similar battle against cruise ship traffic is being waged in Venice, where the cruises are also winning. About a month ago, the Associated Press reported that Venice residents were surprised by the sight of a large ship in a Venetian canal for the first time in more than a year, despite the passage of a law banning big vessels from the heart of one of Italy’s most charming cities.

Venice is continuing to fight, teaming up with celebrities like Mick Jagger, Tilda Swinton, Wes Anderson, and Francis Ford Coppola to protect the city of canals. “Venice is suffering, and we, citizens of the world, cannot remain deaf to her cries,” an open letter signed by supporters reads, according to the AP.

Florida Gov Signs Bill Voiding Key Wests Ban On Cruise Ships

Despite residents voting to do so last November, Florida will not ban large cruise ships from docking in Key West.

Gov. Ron DeSantis this week signed Senate Bill 1194 into law. Section 311.25 in the bill prohibits any ban on cruise ships with a capacity of 1,300 or more persons docking in South Florida, voiding last Novembers referendum, passed by Key West voters, which aimed to keep them out of the Keys.

Key West residents had passed the bill by a wide margin during a referendum last November, but the bill signed into law this week will not allow any referendum to restrict maritime commerce at any port that has received or is eligible to apply for state funding.

The bill will not allow referendums to limit vessel type, size, or capacity, along with origin, nationality, or number of passengers on board.

Large cruise ships could now be back in Key West as early as this year when Royal Caribbeans Brilliance of the Seas stops in Key West during its Sept. 4 sailing out of Tampa.

Key West was the busiest U.S. cruise port in 1029 with more than 900,000 passengers and over 400 calls during 2019.

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